Report: Red Dead Redemption Apparently Cost... [UPDATE 2]

Illustration for article titled Report: Red Dead Redemption Apparently Cost... [UPDATE 2]

The last big Rockstar game, Grand Theft Auto IV, cost roughly US$100 million. Update 2: Daily Mail was just guessing?

The most expensive game (well, before Grand Theft Auto IV) was SEGA's Shenmue, which came in at a cool $70 million to develop. But in 2008, Rockstar producer Leslie Benzies guestimated that GTAIV cost about $100 million.


According to the UK's Daily Mail (yes, yes, I know), Red Dead Redemption is giving GTA a run for...its money. From the paper: "Makers Rockstar Games are thought to have spent up to $100million on the long-awaited project."

No word on where that figure came from. The game was first shown in 2005 and had a rocky development, it seems.

Kotaku is following up with Rockstar and will update if the developer comments.

Update: According to the New York Times, development costs were between $80 - $100 million.


Update 2: UK outlet Develop spoke to the Mail, reporting that the paper seems to have guessed at the $100 million figure, quoting an unnamed source at the Mail as saying "It's not based on anything we have heard about."

Red Dead Redemption: Groundbreaking video game lets players relive the Wild West | Mail Online [Mail Online Thanks, Sweet Music!]

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Hence the industry migration to casual games with lighter budgets and higher profits.

Take-Two needs to sell 2 million units to break even and if they don't diversify their games portfolio, they're going to be done.

If you take a look at their financials, they posted a -$138mil loss for 2009, which means they took out loans and sold company stock to continue to finance their activities. The interest they paid on their loans in 2009 was 7.7. If they don't retire some of the new debt to took on in 2009, they'll be paying quite a bit more interest this year.

Read Dead Redemption is probably not going to put them back in black (probably need to sell 3 million for that, or sell more of their older games), but if they continue to break even on games, they'll be able to pay their loans, employees will continued to get paid, and gamers will have games to play. Just don't expect anything big budget *and* revolutionary from them until their cash position is better.

Compare that to Square-Enix's situation, they posted a 254% increase in income for the games portfolio to 23.8bil yen. Their portfolio of games range from big budget FFXIII, to portables like DQ9, and the portable KH games. They also have income from FFXI and their other online activities.


Lower budget games definitely enabled them to finance their AAA projects.

Blizzard had to create WoW and expansions for existing games to fuel SCII and DIII development. 1 AAA game at a time is a dead end.

Capcom made a foray into portables and was successful and now they're starting to enter the facebook scene.

Sony is milking it with their PSN titles and Home DLC. It might be useless to many gamers, but people buy Home goods, and that's almost free money for Sony.

Microsoft has been in the game for a while and knows how to make money without relying too heavily on their heavy hitters.

I don't even need to say anything about Nintendo.

Cash is the name of the game, and especially now with the tight credit situation, loans are harder to secure and they're more expensive.